Monitor credit reports and dispute inaccurate items to have good score

In my previous blog posts, I have discussed regarding the factors that influence your credit score and what factors don’t affect your credit score. As told, today I thought of discussing regarding monitoring your credit reports and dispute inaccurate items – one of the essential things to have a good credit score.

Here’s a brief overview of how to do that.

First of all, you should order your credit reports from the 3 major credit bureaus, namely, Experian, Equifax and Transunion. You can order a copy absolutely free of cost at least once a year. However, you can also get free copies if your loan request has been denied or you’ve been a victim of identity theft.

Now, after you’ve ordered your credit reports, you should go through it carefully. Look for the following things in your credit report:

  • Accounts that are not yours
  • Late payments marked when you’ve paid on time
  • Closed accounts mentioned as open
  • Incorrect SSN (Social Security Number)
  • Inaccurate employment details
  • Incomplete/wrong name, address, date of birth and phone number
  • Along with this, you should also look for:

    Bankruptcies (if any) reported for more than 7 or 10 years in case of Chapter 7 and Chapter 10 respectively
    Lawsuits and judgments which are more than 7 years old

    If you spot any of the above-mentioned things, then you should dispute them by following these steps:

    • Mark the errors/inaccuracies in the credit reports
    • Fill out the form, provided by the bureau(s)
    • Attach the specific credit report copy
    • Mention the reason of inaccuracy
    • Provide enough documentation to support your dispute
    • Inform the creditors about the items you’ve disputed
    • Send letters through certified mail with return receipt requests

    So, your responsibility doesn’t end just by making your payments on time. Your responsibility is much beyond that. Ensure that your credit report is error-free. This will help you have a good score and enjoy a good lifestyle.

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